Nguyễn Trinh Thi

Nguyễn Trinh Thi (1973, Vietnam) is a Hanoi-based independent filmmaker and video/media artist. Nguyễn studied journalism, photography, international relations and ethnographic film in the United States. Her diverse practice has consistently investigated the role of memory in the necessary unveiling of hidden, displaced or misinterpreted histories; and examined the position of artists in the Vietnamese society. Nguyễn is the founder and director of Hanoi DOCLAB, an independent centre for documentary film and the moving image art in Hanoi since 2009. Her films and video art works have been shown at festivals and art exhibitions including Jeu de Paume (Paris); CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux; the Lyon Biennale 2015; Asian Art Biennial 2015 (Taiwan); Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial 2014; Singapore Biennale 2013; Jakarta Biennale 2013; Oberhausen International Film Festival; Bangkok Experimental Film Festival; Artist Films International; DEN FRIE Centre of Contemporary Art (Copenhagen); and Kuandu Biennale (Taipei).

Nguyễn’s film Eleven Men (Mười một người đàn ông) screened at BFMAF 2016.

Filmography

How to Improve the World (2021), Fifth Cinema (2018), Everyday’s the Seventies (2018), Eleven Men (2016), Vietnam The Movie (2016), Letters from Panduranga (2015), Landscape Series #1 (2013) SOLO for a Choir (2013) Que Faire (2012), Jo Ha Kyu, (2012) I Died for Beauty (2012), Song to the Front (2011), Unsubtitled (2011), Chronicle of a Tape Recorded Over (2011), Terminal (2009), Spring Comes Winter After (2009), 93 Years, 1383 Days (2008), Love Man Love Woman (2007), A Chungking Road Opening (2005)

Fifth Cinema begins with a quiet statement “I am a filmmaker, as you know.” That text and what follows, by Maori filmmaker Barry Barclay, who coined the term ‘Fourth Cinema’ to distinguish Indigenous cinema from the established ‘First, Second, and Third Cinema’ framework, provides structure to Nguyễn’s hybrid essay film that moves on multiple cinematic and topical terrains. Eschewing voice in favour of the written word and juxtaposing moving images of the filmmaker’s own daughter with archival images of Vietnamese women seen through the lens of the “ship’s officers”, the film slowly leads the viewer through a narrative of colonialism, indigeneity and cinematic limitations in representation. —Nguyễn Trinh Thi

Run Time

55 mins
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Resisting the westernised reliance on images for creating narratives, telling stories and experiencing the world, How to Improve the World turns to music and sound as a way of perceiving through listening. Originally a 3-channel installation, this aurally centred work reflects on the past, present and future of indigenous cultures of the people in Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

Run Time

75 mins
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10 September 2021

Nguyễn Trinh Thi is one of Vietnam’s leading contemporary artists. Her moving image work engages with the ways in which memory, history and representation are part of broader structures of power, the legacies of colonialism and war, and the erasure of indigenous Vietnamese cultures.

Nguyễn Trinh Thi’s Focus Programmes are supported by CREAM, University of Westminster and Centre for Screen Cultures at the University of St Andrew

Run Time

77 mins
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20 September 2018

Sensory, colourful and widescreen, the forest is already naturally cinematic.

Since the turn of this century, the forest has fascinated a new generation of global art filmmakers who have chosen the forest as a space for their creative exploration. ‘Screening the Forest’ takes nature as its point of departure by weaving together cinematic forests from India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. In some cases, the forest may even refer to nothing but a world construed as its own territory.

Like the real forest, where many genuses of trees coexist, the programme emphasizes that cinema is constructed not only culturally and aesthetically, but also ecologically or even animistically. As new strategies and interpretations of the forest emerge from a variety of Asian filmmakers, new trees can be sowed within our own imagination.

Q&A with curator Dr. Graiwoot Chulphongsathorn

Run Time

86 mins
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